'''Thomas Hardy''', Order of Merit|OM
(2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Literary realism|Victorian realist
in the tradition of George Eliot
, he was influenced both in his novels and in his poetry by Romanticism
, especially William Wordsworth
He was highly critical of much in Victorian era|Victorian
society, though Hardy focused more on a declining rural society.
While Hardy wrote poetry throughout his life and regarded himself primarily as a poet, his first collection was not published until 1898. Initially, therefore, he gained fame as the author of such novels as ''Far from the Madding Crowd
'' (1874), ''The Mayor of Casterbridge
'' (1886), ''Tess of the d'Urbervilles
'' (1891), and ''Jude the Obscure
'' (1895). During his lifetime, Hardy's poetry was acclaimed by younger poets (particularly the Georgian era|Georgians
) who viewed him as a mentor. After his...